After spending years tromping around the High Peaks and living in the Johns Brook Valley, I take delight in visiting the smaller and often lesser known mountains. Silver Lake Mountain is just north of Taylor Pond (middle of the photograph). At 1.8 miles round-trip it makes a perfect hike to do after work. You don’t see many high peaks, but you do have a good view of Whiteface and the unique combination of big mountains and large bodies of water. Just behind Taylor Pond is Catamount, another great mountain to check out. What is your favorite mountain outside of the high peaks?
As a general rule it is best to avoid taking landscape shots in the middle of the day. The harsh light and lack of contrast across the landscape doesn’t usually make for interesting shots. That said, you need to know when to break the rules as well. This shot of Avalanche Lake was taken mid-day, but the ominous clouds in the distance added a lot of mood to the scene.
You may have heard of the “Golden Hours” in terms of landscape photography. This is the period of time just after sunrise and just before sunset. You will find warmer colors and greater contrast across a landscape scene during this time. There is also the “Blue Hours,” which occur just before sunrise and just after sunset. During this time the colors get cooler across the landscape, shadows decrease, and there is less contrast. The Blue Hours are in some respects more difficult to shoot but can give a lot of mood to a scene.
Spring is an exciting time of year. The forest seems to abound with new life, radiating with new sights, sounds, and smells. I recently went for a walk to photograph the early spring wildflowers in bloom around Heart Lake and Mount Jo. Heavy winds made photographing the flowers difficult. The fiddleheads on the other hand were more stable and offered the opportunity to capture the brilliant detail found in the young leaves just starting to emerge from the coil of the fiddlehead. » Continue Reading.
Spring time brings higher water levels in the streams, brooks, and rivers in the area. This makes for a great opportunity to capture waterfalls and babbling brooks. The trick to these shots is a long shutter speed, which blurs the flowing water, giving it that silky smooth look. The effect will start to appear at around a 5 second exposure; the photo above is a 30 second exposure. To get exposures this long you will want to reduce your ISO (100), use a larger aperture (f11), and shoot in low-light. Typically it is best to shoot these photos in early morning or late evening. Adding a neutral density (ND) filter will allow you to shoot in brighter conditions. This photo was shot with a 10 stop ND filter at around 10am. Finally, long exposures such as this will require a tripod or resting the camera on a solid surface.
I came across numerous small slides, such as the one in this photograph, on N and NW aspects at slopes as low as 25 degrees.
Whooping and shooting cracks were prevalent. I was skiing the trees but any turns made near a convex roll produced a small slide. If you venture into avalanche terrain make sure you have the knowledge to assess the risk, know proper travel techniques, and are carrying a beacon, probe, shovel, and the knowledge to use them.
Happening upon this scene brought mixed emotions. I love the weasel family (Mustelidae), especially the American Marten (Martes americana), so I was naturally excited to be able to get so close to this one. That was only because someone had left a pile of dog food at a campsite. » Continue Reading.
In my opinion Mount Jo has one of the highest reward per effort ratios of any mountain in the Adirondacks. I’ve hiked all of the High Peaks, but none of them are my favorite mountains. Standing on a “lesser” peak affords one a better perspective of the topography of the landscape. While Mount Marcy has a wonderful and enjoyable summit, something is lost when you are looking down on all the mountains, rather than at – or up – at them.